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Fremont County Year in Review: May

Dec 31, 2012 - From staff reports

2 - The Wyoming State Board of Education approved Fremont County School District 21's request to be unified into a K-12 education system, paving the way for a full-fledged Fort Washakie High School.

The board gave its unanimous approval to the unification plan April 27 in Gillette.

3 -- The U.S. Department of Energy began investigating the clean water system installed for a Wind River Indian Reservation area affected by uranium contamination after four homes reportedly exceeded maximum levels.

David Geiser, director of the energy department's Office of Legacy Management, said the Northern Arapaho tribal engineering department disclosed testing results to his agency, which oversees cleanup work in the affected St. Stephen's area.

3 - Michael William Sniffin, of Lander, was sentenced to between three and seven years in prison for causing the death of Todd Richard Scofield, 50, of Riverton, in August 2011.

Scofield died while cycling on the 1100 block of South Federal Boulevard when Sniffin crashed into him.

4 -- Keith Bauder, a longtime Fremont County high school teacher, coach and current activities director at Riverton High School, was placed on paid administrative leave May 1.

9 - Following an executive session, the Riverton school board unanimously accepted the resignation of activities director Keith Bauder without public discussion or comment.

In his letter of resignation Bauder wrote, "Health and family is the reason for my resignation."

10 - Fremont County School District 21's unification request got its final stamp of approval after the Wyoming State Board of Education voted to accept the order of approval for the district's application. The decision was unanimous.

11 - The federal agency in charge of site cleanup and management of an area affected by uranium contamination near St. Stephen's reported that tests showed the water was safe to drink.

April Gil, the Riverton site manager for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Legacy Management, reported the agency's findings from tests that occurred after concerns arose about uranium levels exceeding U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards at four residences in the area.

11 - A federal judge in Wyoming ruled in support of previous determinations by courts that Riverton is not within the exterior boundaries of the Wind River Indian Reservation.

U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson issued the ruling April 30 in the jurisdictional lawsuit filed by Northern Arapaho tribal member Lester Antonio Dewey concerning his arrest in Riverton.

13 - The FBI, along with other agencies on the Wind River Indian Reservation, launched an investigation into a bomb threat that happened at the Eastern Shoshone Tribe's General Council meeting.

Tribal members had gathered at Rocky Mountain Hall in Fort Washakie for the hotly contested meeting focusing on the Eastern Shoshone Housing Authority's operations when the bomb threat occurred at about 10:25 a.m.

13 - After what Central Wyoming College president Jo Anne McFarland said had been a five-year process, the community college broke ground May 10 on its health and science center.

17 - The solid waste board voted to institute a new operational plan for most of the trash transfer stations around Fremont County starting June. 1.

District superintendent Andy Frey said the reason for the change in hours was to "maintain operational costs."

17 - Lander's 9th District Judge Norman E. Young issued a three- to five-year suspended prison sentence and five years of intensive supervised probation to former Riverton High School teacher Sean Coby Stoehr, following terms of a plea agreement.

Stoehr had pleaded guilty to a third-degree sexual abuse of a minor, a felony, for behavior that included sending sexual requests by text message to a teenage boy between June 1, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2011.

Stoehr admitted his guilt under an Alford plea.

22 - Mosquitoes of the type that carry West Nile Virus were detected early in Riverton.

Riverton City Councilman Lars Baker gave his annual mosquito report at the end of the Riverton City Council meeting May 15.

Baker, who is also supervisor of the Fremont County Weed and Pest Control District, said he had trapped two mosquitos in the city that were Culex tarsalis, the prime carrier of West Nile virus.

24 - A judge placed Riverton restaurant owner Gerardo Rico-Holguin on five years of supervised probation with a suspended prison sentence saying the evidence in his felony drug prosecution was "inconclusive."

Ninth District Judge Norman E. Young told Rico-Holguin it "buys you the benefit of the doubt," but he warned the defendant about violating his probation terms and facing the prison sentence.

Rico-Holguin pleaded guilty March 15 to felony conspiracy to deliver cocaine under the agreement that requires him to provide information in other drug investigations.

24 - The Wyoming Highway Patrol reported that a driver fell asleep at the wheel, resulting in the one-vehicle rollover May 18 near Shoshoni that killed a woman and injured two children.

Lehi L. Aoah, 18, of Fort Washakie, was westbound on U.S. Highway 20/26 when he apparently fell asleep, causing him to overcorrect and roll his two-door 2005 Pontiac Sunfire.

Also in the car were Aoah's sister, Jovan C. Willow, 24, and her daughters, Diamond Roy, 5, and Patricia Roy, 3. Willow died in the crash.

27 - Mid-Valley Construction of Riverton was the lowest bidder on construction of the new concession stand and restroom facility under the bleachers at Wolverine Field.

Mid-Valley was awarded the job for $294,000. The project is designed to be completed in time for the fall sports season at Riverton High School.

30 - One of the five suspects charged in the Hudson double homicide in November agreed to a lower prison sentence in exchange for cooperation in future court proceedings that involve her co-defendants.

According to a plea agreement, Samantha June Hanway, 20, of Ethete, will plead guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting second-degree murder with other charges against her dismissed.

31 - Authorities booked former Star-Tech Inc. financial manager Gary Anderson on criminal embezzlement charges May 30. During civil litigation in December 2011, a jury ruled that Anderson had diverted roughly $1.5 million from the Riverton company.

Fremont County Attorney Brian Varn said Anderson had been arrested on larceny charges involving embezzlement allegations.

31 - A federal judge sentenced a Wind River Indian Reservation man to 25 years in prison on two charges of sexual abuse of a minor for acts he committed between 2006 and 2008.

Perry Verdell Gould Sr. appeared for his sentencing after pleading guilty to both charges under an agreement March 20.

Federal Judge Alan B. Johnson sentenced Gould to 15 years in prison on one count of sexual abuse of a minor and 10 years in prison on the other.

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